Professor in Internal Medicine, the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
His research interest is on the genetics of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors. He obtained International Research Fellowship (The Fogarty International Center, NIH), from 01 August, 1987 until 01 August, 1989, to work at the Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Hospital, University of Southern California, San Diego. He was Visiting Scientist at the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, from 01 February, 1993 until 22 June, 1994. Markku Laakso was Academy Professor in the years of 2005-2010 and 2011-2015. He has received Knut Lundbäck Award in 1998 (Scandinavian Society for the Study of Diabetes), Castelli Pedroli Prize in 2006 (the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), Kelly West Award in 2008 (American Diabetes Association), and Claude Bernard Award in 2013 (the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). A recent study (Ioannidis JPA, et al. PLoS Biol 17: e3000384) including the world’s 100,000 top scientists across all scientific fields reported that Markku Laakso belongs to the top 0.01% of scientists, and has the greatest career-long impact among all Finnish scientists (ranked 429th in the world for his career-long impact).
In this ongoing trial we will investigate whether genetic variants associated with T2D determine the response to the prevention of diabetes. We have recruited people with low and high genetic risk score for T2D (300 + 300 participants) in our 3-year clinical trial (lifestyle intervention similar to DPS, collaboration with Ursula Schwab) to investigate the question whether the impact of lifestyle intervention on the risk of T2D is independent of the genetic background of the participants. If that’s the case then lifestyle intervention should be given to all at risk of T2D, if not then individualized lifestyle intervention is needed.